Namibia: Rundu Plunged Into New Water, Power Crisis

28 September 2021

RESIDENTS of Rundu have been left high and dry after power and water services were interrupted again yesterday morning.

Rundu Town Council chief executive officer Olavi Nathaniel yesterday blamed the issue on NamPower and not the Northern Electricity Regional Electricity Distributor (Nored).

Nathaniel said the town's water supply was interrupted because there is no power to pump the water.

He said the power went off at around 10h00, after which the water supply was discontinued.

Nored's public relations officer, Lucas Simon, confirmed the power interruption, saying the town has been experiencing power issues due to technical problems at NamPower's Rundu substation.

"Both NamPower and Nored's teams are working tirelessly to restore the power. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused as a result of this unplanned power outage," Simon said.

Nampower's area manager for the northern region, Petrus Immanuel, confirmed the technical glitch in a statement and cautioned the public to treat all power lines and electrical points as "live" during power outages as no prior notification is given when power supply is restored.

A Rundu resident, Mbundu Petrus (36), who owns a carwash business at the town, yesterday said services at the town are poor in general, as they had the same issue last week.

The town was left without water for almost a week and residents had to fetch water from the Okavango River.

Petrus said businesses now have to rely on generators, and if a business has no back-up generator, it is forced to close for the day.

"This issue is affecting our health as well - especially now during the time of Covid-19 when you need water. It is very bad right now," he said.

The latest service interruptions follow a week-long period during which the Rundu Town Council's water supply was cut by NamWater due to accumulating debt.

The financially strained Rundu Town Council failed to procure its monthly bulk water, which is distributed to residents.

Last week, the council's public relations officer, Benjamin Makayi, said this situation could only change if residents paid their water bills so that the council have enough money to procure water.

Makayi said the council needs about N$6 million per month to buy enough units from NamWater, an amount the council does not have currently.

The residents reportedly owe the council close to N$300 million, while the council owes NamWater N$124 million.

However, NamWater on Friday announced it allocated credit worth N$2 million to the town council to restore Rundu's water supply.

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